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A New York and Chicago Mom Discover What Standardized Rigor Really Means for Their Children


The photograph above and the accompanying story went viral today.  From EAG news and Common Core’s impact: The first picture of my daughter I ever hated:

kelly poynter

NEW YORK – I’m a photographer. This is my daughter…and this is the first photo of her that I have ever hated.

You may have already seen this image today. I posted it this morning on my business page and after returning from a session out in Syracuse, it has been shared over 400 times. I want to take a moment to explain this image so as those who do not know me, can understand how this image came to be.

I am a photographer, a hobby farmer, a child advocate and a mother of 3 elementary-aged children. This is my middle child in the photo … she is 7 and is in 2nd grade. My kindergartner and my 4th grader were already finished with their homework and had left the table. I had brought my camera in to work on my white balance skills while shooting in low light as I had a session the next morning to prep for.

After checking her work, I had found 2 math problems were incorrect. I tried to help her understand where she went wrong through her process but I don’t understand it myself and was not much help.

I told her to forget about it and we’d try again tomorrow but she became very upset that she could not get the answer and kept trying and trying to fix it. She is hard on herself as she very much wants to excel in school and not be pulled for extra help all of the time. I was talking to her and clicking my camera as I changed settings … it’s something that is very common in our household … and that is when I caught this image.

My daughter is incredibly strong.  My daughter is a 4-year cancer survivor.  She is a fighter with a resilient spirit.  It crushes me to see her cry; to see her struggle.  My daughter deserves a happy childhood.

Please know that 5 minutes later I had convinced her to leave the homework behind and go snuggle with her dad on the couch and watch some Olympics coverage. She is not neglected. She was not abused or left alone to cry. And this photo was not staged.


Remember the story from Chicago about Claire Wapole, the mother who helped her six year old daughter’s class with standardized computerized testing and the tears and frustration resulting from that experience?  Here is an excerpt from Testing? Testing?:

I recently volunteered to be on the frontlines of testing. I offered to help during the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) test administered to my daughter’s kindergarten class. For two days the teacher needed to be pulled out of the classroom along with all of the kids. They would be set up in a room with computers where the test would be given. Parents were needed to act more or less as proctors during the test, being on hand to assist with the equipment, then acting as runners to take the kids who had completed the test back to their classroom. In the classroom a paid for out of the school’s meager budget substitute teacher would be waiting to receive them. At no point during the MAP testing were the parents or the teacher permitted to help a kid arrive at an answer. They were there to help with the temperamental computers and to escort the kids back to their classrooms. Period.

Unless you have been around kindergarteners lately, it is easy to forget just how tiny they are. They are little itty-bitty people. They still have little teeny tiny teeth in their mouths.  Many still have slight speeches issues, an ever-facing aural link to their toddler selves. After a bloodless injury like a bumped knee or pinch finger, they still wail pitifully for a band aid, still believing with all their heart that band aids make boo boos feel better.   Kindergartners are indeed students, but awfully pint-sized students.

So on the day of this MAP test, all these little peanuts sit down in chairs, each in front of a computer. They have all been here the day before, day one was used to test their “reading” skills.  I am there on day two, which is assessing math skills. No one’s feet touched the floor. Their hands are smaller than the mouses they hold. They are instructed to put on their headsets. The headsets are meant for adult sized people, not teeny people. I notice that for most kids, the headsets were way too big. If these kindergarteners had been built by Dr. Frankenstein the headsets would have hung down to the two bolts coming out of their necks.  Few kids complained or sought help though. Maybe they had done so the day before?  Most either let them rest below their ears or used one hand to hold an earpiece on one ear while their other hand held the mouse. Optimal listening conditions it was not. My daughter did say to me “See mom, they don’t fit. And when the person on the computer starts talking, I can’t hear what they are saying.” Well, then, that could sort of skew a result couldn’t it? “Deal with it as best as you can” I said. “Hold it on one ear and listen on that side.” Her eyes filled with tears. “I tried to do that yesterday,” she said. “I can’t really hear.” She turned back to her computer. Even five year old’s are self conscious of crying in front of their peers.

I would imagine, that for many five year olds, this MAP test would be the first time in their lives that they could not talk through problem with an adult, or have an adult use different words that would help them better understand a problem.  I understand that the testing field has to be equal, but I am here to tell you, it just feels wrong for a child so young not to be able to ask for clarification. Here is an example of what I mean:  One question on the MAP test asked the kids to choose the picture that best represented something divided into three equal parts. “I don’t understand what divided means. What does that word mean?” a little girl asked me.  “Ahh, I’m sorry. I can’t tell you.” I said.  Her little face looked up at me confused and somewhat betrayed. “Why? Why can’t you tell me? Because you know I really don’t understand what divided is. I need your help.” “I’m sorry.” I said feeling like the slug adult I was “I can’t help you with that. Do the best you can.”  I saw a couple of kids choosing the wrong answer to that problem and I wondered if those answers were being recorded as the students not being able to recognize three equal parts when they see it clearly drawn.  I HOPE what was noted was that at age five they don’t understand the robust vocabulary word “divided” because that, in fact was “the problem”, not their ability to visually ascertain equality of shares.

Other hands were being raised asking for help.  “This mouse doesn’t work. See I want to pick that answer,” a little boy said pointing to a spot on the far left hand corner of his screen. “But this mouse won’t go there. It’s broke.” I looked down at the mouse. The boy had moved it over to the left on the table, but his hand and the mouse had hit the keyboard, stopping the mouse from moving any further. “Here” I said. “When that happens you need to pick the mouse up, move it in the air over this way, set it back down, and move it on the table again.” I picked the mouse up, moved it to the right set it down, and showed him how he could then move the curser to the left once more.  “But I don’t want to move it that way”. He said pointing to the right.  “I want to move it this way,” he pointed to the left. “I know it seems weird.” I said. “But when the mouse won’t let you move it on the table you need to pick it up, fly it through the air and set it down again.”  Is five too young to learn the concept of counter intuitiveness? Hey kid, slow is fast, less is more, you got to be cruel to be kind and you have to move the mouse to the right in order for you to then move it left.  This “broken mouse” scenario played out several times, and remember, these kids had taken the test the day before, so I would imagine even more of them had this problem during the previous test.

Another hand goes up “Something happened” a little girl said. “I don’t know what this is,” She pointed at the screen. She had gotten herself into “preferences.”  I took the mouse and said “Let’s see if I can get you out of here and back to your test.”  I clicked onto the “close” button. Click. Click. Clickclickclickclickclickclickclick.  It took a half dozen or so clicks before the window closed and the little test taker with the big bow in her hair was back to her assessment. This was played out again, and again and again, throughout the duration of the test. In a perfect world, where all the computers worked, testing conditions would be less frustrating. But it’s the real world, and a five year old could click on the wrong thing, and accidentally leave the test. Even when they do click on the button they want, the computers don’t always respond to their commands. I know it’s a computer or mouse glitch, but I can’t help but wonder how many of these kids think it’s their fault. I heard “I can’t do this” frequently. “Yes you can”. I said. “You are doing great. It’s the computer, not you.” The preferences or options screens were accidentally opened quite often. Other computer issues complicated the situation too. Some kids had to leave one computer and find another one, or switch out mouses. Computers fail, it’s a fact, but a lot of these little people felt the fault was theirs.

In the midst of all of this, I walked past my daughter.  She looked up at me, her face red from crying, I could see that tears had been collecting at her collar “I just can’t do this,” she sobbed.  The ill fitting headsets, the hard to hear instructions, the uncooperative mouse, the screen going to command modes, not being able to get clarification when she asked for it… her little psyche had reached it’s breaking point. It took just two days of standardized testing for her to doubt herself, quickly trading a love of learning for the shame of incompetence.  Later on when I picked her up after her long seven-hour day, she whispered into my shoulder “I’m just not smart mom. Not like everyone else. I’m just no good at kindergarten, just no good at all.”

Wapole writes:

If all of these assessments, all of these benchmarks, all of these tests were ultimately beneficial, I would bite the bullet and say to my kids, “I know it feels rotten going through it, but you will benefit from it in the long run.”. I’d look at CPS, trust in their wisdom and expertise and say, “Go ahead. Carry on.” I have done this in other arenas.  I assisted a six foot two orderly in pinning my one daughter down so that she could get stitches in her chin. “Go ahead. Close it quick.” I kept my other daughter sleep deprived for almost 24 hours so she could get a test ascertaining brain seizures. “Stay awake honey. Just seven more hours.”  I dragged my son week after week to a pool so he could overcome his phobia of water. “Just put your chin in this time okay? Just your chin.” I am fully aware of how kids sometimes have to endure bouts of stress and discomfort in order to obtain a positive outcome. However, this practice of repetitively testing kids is not one of those circumstances.  If kids are putting down any answer just to have it over with. If the equipment is not working. If it is causing kids to feel bad about themselves, anxiety over performance, if it is taking up class time with test prep and testing, if you can’t hear the questions, or click on the answer you want, than these tests are doing more harm than good.  Furthermore, if what is really going on is that these tests are being used not so much to assess the students, but more to evaluate the teachers, then parents need to realize that their children are being used as the litmus paper, or canaries in yet another unproven education reform mine. I once read where Chicago’s old Riverview Amusement Park, used to test the rides by running them with sand bags in the seats. If the bags came back in tact, they let the kids on.  At least they used sand bags first.
Parents, it’s time to protect your children.  How many stories do we need to read about children suffering through tests that don’t really measure how smart they are and don’t take into consideration their unique developmental stages? Why should children have to take tests to determine if the computer infrastructure is working correctly or tests to determine if they are even valid?
It’s time to practice civil disobedience.  This generation of children is learning to hate school and what it represents.  Write Bill Gates about his USA editorial yesterday on why Common Core is so wonderful and his statement:

We need education reform and this is the best way to fix school for our kids.

It’s time to say no to his edicts and the special interests who are abusing children.


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61 Responses to A New York and Chicago Mom Discover What Standardized Rigor Really Means for Their Children

  1. EduMom

    February 13, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Thank you for this post. I am sharing it with my school community.

    • Gigi

      February 17, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      This is my 36th year in school system and I see this going on almost daily. So wrong, I would home school my children if they were school age today. You’d have to work in a school system to see all the ‘changes’ that includes stress and no joy in learning.

  2. Meg

    February 13, 2014 at 9:32 am

    These stories, this picture make my heart ache. This is not what I signed up for when I chose to be a teacher. This is not what I want for my students, my children. The expectations put on our children today are not developmentally based. They are certainly not supported by this teacher and I think you would be hard pressed to find a teacher that does support it. This test, test, test mentality does not show growth of learning. It does not show progress. Teachers cannot fight this fight alone. Parents need to stand up with us and say no more!

  3. Kari

    February 13, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Our 1st grader’s teacher called me yesterday to tell me that our son had taken his math test 2 weeks ago and that his grade was the lowest in his class. He had done better on the September test than this one (taken after months of learning). He is a very bright child and usually does well so I was obviously very surprised. She then proceeded to tell me that when the kids finish the test they are allowed to play games for the remainder of the 45 minutes. His teacher watched him as he apparently raced through the test so he could play the games and made many mistakes along the way. She was not allowed to tell him to slow down, use his scrap paper and check his answers. She also told me if he does poorly again (in June I believe) he will have to receive mandated “special help”. I can’t remember what they call it but he will have to leave the classroom and go to a special ed. teacher for at least 6 weeks until they evaluate him again. So, even if your child does well on all of his classroom tests and is a generally good student, the course of his education can change based on one or two standardized tests. I can’t believe this is happening in our county.

    • VAteacher

      February 14, 2014 at 8:15 am

      As a special ed teacher this practice significantly detracts from the students who really need the services provided by special education. Even worse special ed students who really struggle frequently fail. In fact it is a requirement that they fail in order to be given additional accommodations or alternative testing. It is painful to watch these students fail time after time and in some cases there is nothing to be done because they did not achieve a certain point range or the alternative tests are only certain subjects.

    • Justice

      February 14, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      so obviously the teacher was trying to tell you that you need to teach your child about delayed gratification. You must feel outraged but this is a lesson your child must learn. Isn’t it obvious he is choosing pleasure over the discipline that he needs to succeed in life?

      I think you really missed the whole point and goal of what could have happened. Now you are blaming the system and the country when you need to teach your child about what is important

      • Erin B.

        February 15, 2014 at 10:50 am

        I think that’s a bit unfair. When the child is in the classroom setting, not home with a parent, then it is the teachers job to instruct and remind the kids of ‘delayed gratification’ as you put it. First graders can be easily distracted and haven’t perfected those lessons from home yet. They do still need to be reminded of things from time to time. I don’t think it’s helpful at all to a young child’s learning to effectively remove any adult interaction just so they can take a test. We aren’t talking about high school here, this is first grade, where there are still words and grammar that the kids aren’t going to fully understand. Sadly, I think it is you that has missed the whole point.

      • Preparation

        February 15, 2014 at 1:08 pm

        Isn’t there any pre-test preparation done? The students need to be prepared for the test and know what ‘divide’ means. And telling them what divide or other words mean, by using examples, is rather simple and doesn’t void the test answers. Even in college students can ask for clarification. Headsets can normally be adjusted or new ones can/should be purchased that fit. That’s the responsibility of the state and of local school boards and districts. And, on the night where the younger girl was having problems I would have woken her older sister to get her help. This kind of testing has been taking place for decades and other countries do the same if not more. What state was this? Missouri? How does Missouri rate on test scores, education, and in other areas? Not very high I’d suspect. True, young children shouldn’t be traumatized, but it’s become a more difficult and competitive world to live in. Without a really good education and without the base skills for learning people in the future will have more difficulty making a living.

      • CherylG

        February 16, 2014 at 9:33 pm

        You obviously don’t have children or any experience in an elementary school environment in the last 10 years. Yes, they do test prep, it seems like all they have time for anymore, test prep rather than teaching. But do you really think all of these kindergarteners and first graders will remember all the words? No, they do not, and the teachers and test administrators are not allowed to clarify-yes, it does void the answers, and also the test. They should have properly fitting equipment, but they don’t and once they are in a testing situation, they don’t stop because the equipment is wrong, the kids just fail; and they don’t replace the equipment before the next testing because there is not enough money in the budget; not for books, not for supplies, not for properly fitting equipment. This kind of testing has not been going on for decades-this is new and it changes every year, the way things are taught, what they call it and the testing to prove that it is being taught. It is ridiculous. I have been out of the schools system for less than 1 school year and went in to substitute teach and I don’t even know what they are talking about sometimes because they changed the name of it or came up with some ridiculous way of doing things like 6 + 8 has to be broken down to 10 + 4 to be counted correct. Why can’t the kids be held responsible to learn their math facts rather than changing everything every year? It is not just Missouri, it is every where. Ignorant posts like yours, preparation, remind me of what the problem really is: people who know nothing about the subject commenting and making the decisions.

      • Teacher

        February 17, 2014 at 1:04 am

        In my district we have many students who are not fluent in English. When they take a math test filled with word problems they cannot comprehend because they do not understand the words because they are in English and not Spanish, and they cannot ask for clarification, it is not testing their math skills at all but actually their reading skills. The same goes for my lower level reading students. It does not matter if they recognize and understand the words multiply and divide, if they do not comprehend what the question is asking them to multiply or divide. Additionally my students have learned over their 4 years of testing to fear the tests. I have had 4th graders cry, have anxiety attacks, throw up, wet themselves…. all because they are scared of the test, especially now that if students fail they have to attend summer school and possibly be held back. We lose weeks of instructional time each year to testing (beginning of year tests, benchmarks, midterms, practice tests, end of year tests, tests to see if the new tests are good…) and to teaching to the test (you have to teach the students how to take standardized tests: correct bubbling techniques, checking that your answer sheet matches the test question, eliminating answers that try to trick you, decoding what the question really wants you to do….). This is not teaching them how to read, how to work out a word problem, how to apply what they are learning to their lives. The testing taking place in our schools today is not the testing that I had to put up with as a student a decade or two ago. Yes, I was tested each year as a student, but my schools did not undergo testing multiple times each year; I did not take standardized tests in lower elementary; we did not have the fear, anxiety, and consequences that students experience with testing today. A good education is paramount for everyone, but the way students are tested today does nothing but detract from their education. As a grade level my coworkers and I discovered that we were not able to give the correct answers to some of the questions on the 4th grade tests because of the way the tests require you to think 8+6=14 was not the answer to that word problem, in one instance (in a similar question) you had to come up with 8-1=7, 6+1=7, 7+7=14, and in another you had to solve it 8+2=10, 6-2=4, 10+4=14. We also went through reading questions where we all agreed upon the answer only to discover that the answer key contained a different answer than the one we selected. These tests pull from students supposed knowledge of the world, but if the kids have no experience with these things they will not be able to pick up on contextual hints that lead to those conclusions. I will heartily agree that there is a time and a place for testing, but the way we test our kids and how often we do it are outrageous. As for the comment about other countries… Students in America undergo more standardized testing than students almost anywhere else in the world. Finland has the highest test scores world wide and they only administer 1 standardized test to their students their entire non-collegiate school careers.

      • MomTo3.5Kids

        February 17, 2014 at 6:03 am

        In all fairness, have you had a conversation with a 5 year old recently?

        My kids now range in age between 13 and 22. I STILL ask my 13 year old if she’s brushed her teeth. I still have to repeat myself eleventy-bazillion times to ensure certain things are done a certain way.

        You can tell a five year old what “divide” means over and over again over the course of two weeks before a test, and they may well continue to be confused when you ask them on test day. It is what it is. They’re five.

        You’re right. Explaining what “divide” means doesn’t void the test answers, except that doing so voids the test as the rules stand. See the problem here?

        Headsets can be adjusted or could/should be purchased? Yeah. Let’s all hold our breath for that to happen. I’m sure it’s at the top of the budget priority list right above teacher raises. :/

        This kind of testing has not been going on for decades. Common Core has been only been in swing since, what? 2009? That’s hardly decades, and it’s this testing that most of us are having issues with. It’s not testing the student’s intelligence or problem solving capabilities. It’s simply teaching them to test. That’s it.

        No one wants really good education more than the parents that are speaking up. No one. The problem is that this is NOT what is happening right now. It’s just not.

      • aks

        February 17, 2014 at 8:48 pm

        so then the schools that can afford to buy headphones that fit and have nice new always working mice can get better test scores and more funding. sounds like it evaluating test administrator’s preparedness and not kindergartner’s knowledge or progress.

        Also sounds like these tests are set up to be failed, so that from this ‘baseline’ the 1st graders will look better and on up.

      • Travis

        February 16, 2014 at 10:05 pm

        Justice, you are an Idiot.

  4. Snertly

    February 13, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    With all possible respect, sounds like the photographer is not a very good mathematics teacher, but can create a striking image. Is she suggesting that schools only teach math problems students already know how to work? That would be a low standard indeed. Likewise, Ms Walpole’s complaint seems to be centered on how testing is implemented, not whether or not testing should happen.

    One sees lots of negative references for Common Core, such as on the page above. Yet when examined closer, they do not describe problems with educational standards, but are focused on specific implementation issues.

    • Christy

      February 13, 2014 at 7:14 pm

      Unfortunately, Snertly, you could be a fabulous mathematics teacher but a lot of the methodology in teaching math today has changed drastically. This leaves a parent at a distinct disadvantage because their child is being taught to approach everything differently so our methods are confusing, or worse, the children are not allowed to use them. Also, there are no textbooks sent home where a parent may be able to decipher the method.
      Second, Ms. Walpole’s complaint is not just implementation but also the fact that the content of questioning was developmentally inappropriate. I also proctored for Kindergarten MAP testing both at the beginning and middle of the year. 56 questions per test for a 5-6 year old child to go through. And don’t think these are all basic multiple choice. Many of these questions ask kids to click and drag, move things, rearrange them, etc. before they can click “next” and go to the next question. It is too much and when half of the children are clicking through to.just.get.finished. no real evaluation has occurred at all. Not on the student and certainly not on the teacher.
      I do not believe that people do not think learning progress needs to evaluated and monitored. I think that they, like myself, want real meaningful evaluations from their teachers and not about the garbage they are being forced to teach for a test but on what our children are actually learning of math, reading, science, social studies etc. We do not want a graph showing our child’s “knowledge” give or take a standard deviation of plus or minus 2 percentage points compared to that of the national “average.” Averages are a joke. You can not have an average of apples and watermelons, it will never give you a true idea of either of their weights. To take a test of this nature and apply and average for students that have never seen a computer except at school to ones that have played on them since preschool is doing just that.

    • Adam Shields

      February 13, 2014 at 7:43 pm

      Exactly. Of course there can be problems with implementation. But implementation and the standards are not the same thing. Implementation is the responsibility of the local school system. The standards are national. I keep hearing people confuse a specific textbook or curriculum with the standards themselves.

      Also you are right about testing. Testing is a part of not only common core but also the past systems of the past 10 years or so. Common Core is not the problem. It may be a solution, but mis-information like this isn’t helping anything.

    • SR

      February 13, 2014 at 8:00 pm

      Snertly, spend a little time researching the changes, specifically in math, that are coming down with Common Core. I think you will understand what she meant. A quick google search will give you many results of parents posting their children’s strange new math. Here is one source. You can scroll down and begin reading at “Take, for example, my first-grade son’s Common Core math lesson…”
      If you don’t like that source, I have no doubt you will find one to get the info you need.
      The daughter is in the second grade. Rather than solve the problem; she is expected to work it ‘abstractly’ and explain each abstract step, which must have been where the mom couldn’t help her. The mom knew the answer was incorrect but couldn’t help her in the bizarre method/language she’s being taught.

      • SR

        February 13, 2014 at 8:00 pm

      • Erik

        February 17, 2014 at 8:24 pm

        Interesting. It seems to me like they are trying to teach kids mathematical intuition right off the bat. I am not an expert on teaching math by any means, but this strikes–intuitively–me as backwards: intuition arrives after one has the simple concepts down and has done some work with them. I am not sure that intuition can be taught like this.

        I was a New Math student in the late 60s and early 70s; I recall my parents looking at my textbooks, frowning, and then teaching me how to add, subtract, divide and multiply the way they learned it. It was not until after they did that that ten’s places and one’s places started to make any sense whatsoever, because I could work backward from the answer to see what those concepts were for. But I am not sure I ever really understood what the New Math was trying to teach until much much later–some time after my first college calculus class! In my experience at least, set theory is lost on first graders; it certainly was on me.

        I have to wonder who the pedagogical theorists are behind Common Core. Are there any who are not simply self-proclaimed?

    • Suzanne Sperry

      February 13, 2014 at 8:20 pm

      I agree that implementation is a problem for testing, but since that part is dictated along with the content and metrics, it is still a valid concern.
      But for me, the real point to look at here is that students’ individual wants and needs are not even a factor in this system. Absolutely everything about our public school system is designed to make things easier on the school administrators and bean counters in bureaucratic positions. This includes the very concept of grade levels by age, curriculum content, teaching methods, styles, and pace.
      Turns out that if every child was able to learn each subject at their own pace, this young girl would not be crying. And while a child’s first teacher should always be his parent, how about the idea that the second teacher could be other students who have already mastered that subject (older or younger) then helping mentor others? Why does it have to all be on one teacher/warden/nanny? Ah yes, because we have all been duped into the idea that the kiddie detention centers that we use for free child care are somehow interested or capable of “educating” automatically.
      I take no pleasure in pointing the finger right back to parents for abdicating their role as the primary educators in the first place.
      As a homeschooling mother, I know that it is not for everyone, and I do not encourage others one way or the other. But I absolutely cringe when other parents discover I homeschool- the most frequent response is “Wow. Good for you. I could not stand to be around my kids all day.” or “I look forward to my kids going to school so I can get have a break from them.” Can I just say how much that breaks my heart for their kids? What kind of parent raises kids they can’t stand and then sends them away so they don’t have to see it? What the hell has happened to us as?

    • Laurie

      February 14, 2014 at 7:27 am

      You are completely missing the point. It’s how the testing kills confidence and a love of learning. Testing like this should not be occurring at 5 years old. Common Core has placed excessive demands on children and is not age appropriate. It was not developed by educators but business minded people. The picture above captures what many kids are experiencing. Did you cry over frustration of doing homework or being tested when you were this age? I doubt it.

      • Lisa

        February 17, 2014 at 12:37 pm

        Well said Laurie!

    • Kate

      February 14, 2014 at 9:44 am

      Sadly implementation is just the beginning of the vast problems related to testing. To add just one more to the list others have already supplemented, I would point out that even a perfectly implemented test actually yields no meaningful data. The tests are used to judge teachers and schools, and scores are tracked in aggregate for whole classes and schools — all that can possibly do is measure the range of population a school happens to have. To actually measure student learning, you have to test one student, teach them something, then test the same student again and compare those two scores. That’s an ideal scenario with a very discrete single skill that can actually be measured quantitatively (whereas the vast majority of testing does not yield clean data like that). But we’re not doing that. We’re comparing a whole population before, to a whole population after. It’s meaningless. To the (very limited) degree that this egregiously stupid fundamental error of NCLB has been addressed, the data is still meaningless, because we’re still attempting to measure quantitatively tasks that cannot be accurately assessed through those means, and we’re not breaking down individual learning tasks sufficiently to identify which actual skills are being assessed. And we’re still using the data to judge teaching and schools, when it can only reflect what each student did on that one test one day. The entire testing concept is as meaningful to education as simply putting these generations of students on a hamster wheel for 12+ years. Except that would make less money for the private companies providing testing materials, and yield less political leverage.

    • Sheryl Rauzi

      February 14, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      I have a third grader and two first graders. I have a finance degree and over a dozen years experience in the banking industry. I’m pretty good with math. My children come home with bizarre mathematical equation formats that make no sense. I have volunteered in their classrooms and sat through the teacher explaining new basic math concepts that I could barely follow. Seriously. Someone has made a lot of money out of designing new ways to add and subtract. It’s ridiculous.

      • Justice

        February 14, 2014 at 8:22 pm

        A finance degree doesn’t mean that you can do the basic math that your children need to do. A finance degree means you finished the classes. The banking industry doesn’t mean much. Many things are automated with tables, and you don’t need to be great at math to be in the banking industry for a long time.

      • CherylG

        February 16, 2014 at 9:40 pm

        You are an idiot.

    • lharris553

      February 14, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      Are you kidding! Even the teachers have told me, they do not have time to teach kids critical thinking skills and the overall ability to learn because they are too busy getting them ready for these ridiculous tests.

      These are just one more way idiotic adults are trying to assess something they cannot measure with a standardized test. The good teachers, are teaching our kids how to learn and enjoy learning…the ones who are caught up in this standardized nonsense are doing our children NO favors at all!!

    • Kelly A. Poynter

      February 14, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      With all due respect, you are correct….I am not a very good mathematics teacher. And I am certainly not expecting the schools to teach math problems to children that they already know how to work. I am suggesting that perhaps the vertical way of solving addition problems is still a good way to get the sum of the equation instead of using number discs and place value charts with chips. She solved the problem vertically. She had the answer. Why is that no longer acceptable?

      • curtain

        February 15, 2014 at 12:14 am

        The vertical way of solving math problems is easier to teach and easier to learn (that’s why someone invented it), but it doesn’t prepare kids for the high level math that will enable them to compete with the kids in other countries. It almost seemed like someone invented the vertical way just so kids could pass the tests so that previous generations can make the school look great on paper. They look great on paper but produced kids who didn’t excel in science and engineering (how many kids can get past calculus 1? Most can’t go past algebra 2).

        Excelling in Science and Engineering doesn’t matter to Americans right now because they already have a high standard of living without the degree. However this is not what it’s going to be in the future.

        The kids who excel in the science and math fields will be the ruling class in the future. The ruling class will be spread throughout the world. The US is panicking because they would like this ruling class to stay in America but according to trends, it will not.

        Think… instead of local fire departments and police stations… think globalized services. Global companies with airplane water tanks, globalized police 911 system, etc.

        Your current jobs will be offshored.

        However due to the poor implementation of the higher standards, most Americans will not buy into the more rigorous curriculum. They believe that their kids will be OK without a rigorous degree. Their kids will be the ones who will not be able to afford much in the future.

        I think the U.S. is panicking because they see all these kids in other countries who know a lot more math than their kids. However, they don’t fully understand why those kids are awesome at math. Here are some reasons:

        1) They have teachers who are properly trained in teaching all sorts of math strategies.

        2) The teachers have a high status in their country.

        3) Math is taught at the early grades with puppets, toys, etc. They don’t teach their kids to “find the sum” or “divide”. They use kid-centric words. It’s taught in an art-class sort of way.

        Good luck to all the kiddos if they want to stay in the rat race. Otherwise, just be a hippie and don’t worry about all this stuff. We all have the same destination anyways.

      • CherylG

        February 16, 2014 at 9:45 pm

        Exactly! It is a huge money making scheme. Vertical addition and subtraction, long division, it all makes so much more sense. By the time these kids break it all down, they are so far away from the original problem, they don’t remember what they were looking for in the first place. If they would just learn the basic math facts, addition and multiplication, they would understand so much more of the rest. They can figure out their own way of regrouping, etc. We did.

      • Georgina Levey

        February 18, 2014 at 12:03 am

        I have taught 5th grade math using the constructivist approach for nearly ten years and the best way I can explain the “why” about the “new” math we teach is that it helps kids fully understand the concepts being taught… that is the part that is missing with basic algorithms. Unfortunately, though, these teaching methods are not for everyone and can in fact confuse kids more than they can help. Some kids, who may not make a career out of math, really do need it straight (i.e. vertical adding, subtracting, etc.) and others need the deeper understanding in order to go into the higher math and engineering fields. I try to teach every kid in my classroom using the methods that work best for each one at exactly the pace that each one needs, but it isn’t that easy… I burn myself out trying and yet I can’t, in good conscious, do it any other way. I care about kids’ overall learning experiences too much. Now the big question is how long I can hold out… I love teaching, but I hate what teaching has become.

    • casey

      February 16, 2014 at 10:14 pm

      Dear Snertly, I have never in my life replied to anything like this but I can’t stop myself this time. I have my masters in elementary education with endorsements in math and science. I LOVE math and have had more math classes than I can possible remember. My son is in first grade in a school that has implemented common core this year and I did not know how to do one of his math problems last week. I check his homework every night and I had no idea if this problem was correct. It turns out he was wrong and I still don’t know how to do this problem. I have spent this year working in a kindergarten classroom, watching all of these wonderful teachers struggle to teach math “the common core way”. I have substituted in my son’s classroom, I have a tremendous amount of experience in mathematics, and I understand common core and I still had no idea how to do this problem. I don’t think common core is a bad idea in the long run, but it is going to take years to get all of these students and parents where they need to be. In the mean time, there will be casualties and we need all need to be a little sympathetic to these casualties.

  5. Liz

    February 13, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Take these photos, cut out the child’s face and paste it to a bag of fertilizer. The Age of Aquarius, Alice Bailey, UN, UNESCO, world bank, IMF, Islamic supremacisits as well as multiple Lucifarian groups hate us and especially our kids. Stop pretending, stop calling me extreme, stop it with the tin foil hat comments.

    This is a spiritual battle and they want us DEAD, in the name of biodiversity and green mother earth. Agenda 21 is real, happening now and Common Core is the Agenda 21 plan Chapter 36. It’s about depopulation at the hands of the Nazi-style global elites.

    NO more comments about how you just can’t understand who would think like that. There are more than enough satnic writings to find your devil’s ideas free on the internet. Hint: they usually hate Christians and Western Civilization. I am done reading them.

    So a small group of blood thirsty evil people have too much power. Only because slobs like us gave it to them. So you pull you kids out now. NOW, take the power back. Keep your children close and read you Bible. I will never give up my right to love my neighbor, never will any fascist state force me to lose empathy for another human being based on biodiversity or saving the planet lest I become rotten like they are on the inside. Pray for the twisted people who invented Common Core they have black hearts.

  6. louise crowder

    February 13, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    take common core and stick it where it does belongs..common core is a killer;;;;

  7. Rachael

    February 13, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    I am not an advocate for testing, by any means, but as a teacher, I use MAP data (along with my own professional observations and judgement) to design my instruction. My fourth graders understand that MAP testing is one of MANY ways to show me what they know. They know I love them and value their thinking. They know I expect their best effort and they know I will encourage them 100%. They also know that, while I use MAP scores as one of MANY pieces of data to evaluate their progress, there are some people (our principal, our district, our state) who only get to see this ONE piece of data! None of us love that fact, but I use it to put testing in perspective. I would never let a child take a test in tears. Some schools and districts take testing too far and forget to see the whole child. I think ours does a pretty good job of balancing the test with lots of other, more reasonable and accurate ways to asses a child’s learning.

  8. bobmontgomery

    February 13, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Pushback? Civil disobedience? Oh, yes. But not just on Common Core, or standards or data mining. If the stories about kindergarteners break your heart, what’s going to happen to your heart when they come for your three-year-olds? The governors who went along with CC are going along with pre-k as well. It is Progressive thing. It is a Central Planning thing. It is a Statist thing.
    If you are a teacher and you think “Oh boy, job security! We’re going to be sooooo needed”, think again. The State will resize those headphones mentioned in the article above so they fit just fine.

  9. Holly

    February 13, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Ok, here is my issue with common core standards. It has huge gaping hole for certain subjects at least at the elementary grade level. This includes science and history. My own daughters school, can only free up one day a week in which they could possible touch on these topics. There are no books issued. It is whatever the teacher chooses to bring up that’s age appropriate. My daughters teacher was concerned that the kids making mailboxes for valentines day would get her in trouble because it wasn’t curriculum. ???!!! However, I see teachers taking tons of extra time and daring to insert something else into the school week. Our fifth grade teachers did a whole fun workbook packet about the Olympics which included poetry, songs and art. The whole school seemed to really focus on talking about at least two of our most famous presidents for presidents day. (NO, its not Clinton or Obama, ha ha) This included a short program with costumes by the administration at the flag ceremony. It is gratifying to see teachers who care. Now if we could just get the government to back off and let them teach.

  10. Kary

    February 13, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    I fought and fought when my son was in the 4th grade for him not to have these tests done. I was threatened by the school board to have CPS called on me for holding back my son on his education??? Really so not letting my son be a lab rat for your tests is a matter for CPS? Then I asked this question, if the teachers are givin this test and can pass them then I would consider my son taking them. They said no the tests were not about the teachers but how the children are learning… this made me laugh, because the children’s learning is only as good as the teachers teaching. In response to the article written above, I see my children so sad weeks leading up to these tests because there is so much pressure on them to take these tests. Telling children if you don’t pass this test by the time you are in the 12th grade you wont graduate. WOW talk about pressure on pressure. Two days ago Feb 11, 2014 I had a parent teacher conference and I was told my daughters school (shes 8 in the 3rd grade) will be hosting a new testing this year on computers. That they wont be scored until next year and wont effect them this year. Well neat? I understand there has to be test to see where schools fall in education, but really these kids go from being about to ask for help to “just do your best, im sorry I cant help you”??? WHERE IN THIS COUNTRY ARE YOU GOING TO BE DOING SOMETHING IN LIFE WHERE YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO ASK FOR HELP??? Not to mention, its a computer and does not know my child what so ever! ooopsss click final answer, but that child was just trying to get the mouse to move and didn’t mean to click on it… this entire thing from start to finish makes me want to homeschool if I could. As for the Math comments.. Im in the same boat, I see my daughters home work and want to scream in pain for myself. They change the rules so much on math I throw my hands up. I almost want to go and take night school just to understand 3rd grade math. but by the time im done my daughter will be in the 4th grader and on to worse math problems I wont understand. THERE ARE NO MORE BOOKS FOR YOU TO LOOK IN AND MAKE SENCE OF WHATS GOING ON. I almost want to think her teacher is going coocoo teaching my daughter with the things my daughter tells me. My daughters father is very very smart, graduating a year early. 4.0 Honor student,blah blah blah,, and even he wants to pull the remainder of his hair out helping with homework, and his favorite subject was MATH!
    so who do I scream to to get my daughter out of these tests without killing her education???

  11. Eric Clark

    February 14, 2014 at 10:19 am

    I highly disagree with the content in the article and it seems like the writer does not understand the concepts of the Common Core. As a freelance writer for these assessment questions for math, the depth of the questions as increased greatly. Students are going to have to apply math concepts (what a great idea) to solve problems. Students will have to critically think about the process to solve a math problem. The math assessments have become more than multiple choice because students will have to type in a solution, select the steps to a problem, explain how a process works, or create a model for the problem. They will also have to use technology in the classroom, which has become mainstream in society.

    The Common Core Standards will improve outcomes and allow children (including my own) to compete in a global economy. If you want the same standards of passing students through, that is fine, just don’t complain when your child is unable to compete with the rest of the world. Writing an article about your daughter struggling is not going to help her, it will actually make things worse.

    • Rachelle Hodges

      February 14, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      Freelance writer? How many years did you teach mathematics? I am sure you did…I am not questioning that. I have taught math for 23 years and I disagree with most of what you say. OF COURSE we want students to apply what they have learned. But often the questions YOU and others write are simply not appropriate. Notice I did not say good–they may be wonderful and in-depth questions and yes, many of them are. However, many of them are NOT connected to what students have already learned. These tests are for where students “should” be and the fact of the matter is that the overwhelming majority of students are not where they “should” be. Why? Many districts are implementing Common Core for all grade levels at the same time…each level builds on the last and if you are a fourth grader who did not have common core for K-3, then you WILL have gaps in your learning. This is not the fault of the teacher, the student or their parents. The state tests my district gives, aligned with the Core, contain problems that are not grade level, age or content appropriate for our students. When you have multiple teachers with decades of experience combined teaching the highest levels of math whose students had previously and consistently scored quite high looking at test questions and not being able to figure out either what exactly is being asked or how to do the problem…that is a problem. How is that going to help our students? You write the questions, but how many of these tests have you administered?!

      I am also a parent besides being a math teacher with nearly a quarter of century of experience in grades 6-12…and there are nights that I am completely perplexed by the homework my third and first graders come home with. Abstract thought and application is absolutely necessary–but when students’ brains are still in physical, physiological and psychological concrete stages, those questions are INAPPROPRIATE. Not to mention the fine and gross motor skills needed to operate the technology that we are increasingly dependent on…again INAPPROPRIATE.

      As for our students not being able to compete globally, I say APPLES and ORANGES!! Many of our global counterparts test students at early ages and based upon those results funnel their students into tracks and only the best of the best go on to take the more rigorous classes and content. We do not and I am NOT advocating that by any means. Many educators in those countries will tell you point blank that US students may not score as high academically but can run creative and thinking outside of the box circles around their students. Well, at least we used to be able to…anything now that is not on the tests that YOU help create (for a profit mind you) is being abandoned and creativity is all but gone.

      Writing about her daughter may not help HER, but alerting people to the horrors of the Core may just help others in the future.

    • Debbie

      February 14, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      Well said Eric. As a veteran teacher I am overjoyed to be back teaching my students how to think and articulate rather than memorize and bubble! Common Core works.

    • Erin Winslow

      February 14, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      Appropriate for KINDERGARTENERS? I think not! This is simply not age appropriate. Younger children need concrete examples, not abstract concepts. Their young brains have not developed sufficiently at age 5 (or 6 or 7) to “explain how a process works.” Yes, there might be one or 2 gifted kids who are way ahead of the pack, but most of the kids in that age range cannot think abstractly yet.

      Apply math concepts to solve problem is great! But for somewhat older kids (at least in the 5th grade).

  12. NP

    February 14, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Very powerful–but it’s important to note that MANY children have already had this experience because of reform math that is 20 years old, and changes in our public education system over time that have put far too much pressure on our kids for too long. Common Core is just another turn of the screw in some cases, and in others, it will actually result in FEWER scenes like this. It is a mixed bag and a lot is left to interpretation. For instance, some districts have used CC as an excuse to get rid of the horrid Everyday Math that has plagued us for many years while others have used it as an excuse to adopt the new “Common Core ready” revised Everyday Math curriculum (same pig only with lipstick). My hope is that the adoption of Common Core, which happened too quickly, without parents having a clue what it is, will be reversed–and that the hoopla will finally lead to a real conversation with everyone involved. No more Arne Duncan sneering at “suburban moms” and making misogynist comments. No more “we know better than you parents.” No more leaving teachers out of the conversation.
    Note too that in some districts, MAPS testing begins in 3rd grade, not K, although that’s developmentally inappropriate too.
    The facts matter when you’re battling CC so parents, become informed. Do you really want MORE standardized testing, of younger children, and more teaching to the test? Same old pig-in-lipstick crap!

  13. MonicaG

    February 14, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Just saw a piece on local news last week talking about putting elementary courses online as well. Battle worn retired college teacher union leader, putting college classes online was bad enuff, but now kids??? Parents must stand up to this stuff for real. Do not get caught by trendy tech talk now replacing people either. Wish I was 20 yrs younger and on the frontline of this challenge. Time for the younger parents to get hip.

  14. boyhowdy

    February 14, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Gates isn’t even close, either. This is ONLY the best way to help kids if we assume that teachers are, on AVERAGE, so bad that they need to be identified through student litmus testing, and then corrected. But there is NO evidence to rest on that assumption. Instead, anecdote suggests that having teachers focus on preparing students for these tests interferes with student love of subject, of developing grit, of creativity and depth – the things that teachers, parents, and students all agree are supposed to be both focal points and harbingers of education.

    Until parents are willing to stop the testing overall BY pushing back against the default assumption that Gates and others share – that teachers are “the problem” of modern education – then fighting symptoms (testing) will only tip the disrespecting pressure on teachers to another aspect of the classroom experience. But it will not alleviate that pressure. Teachers will continue leaving the game; they will continue to have less and less time to help kids, and actually teach. PLEASE – help us by pushing at the foundation of the war, not just the symptoms. Else it will take much, much longer before we can all be trusted to take care of our own, in the ways that matter most.

  15. GmaGardner

    February 14, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Parents, I strongly urge you to educate your children with Waldorf methods. These time tested methods utilize your child’s developmental stages, base the curriculum on the individual needs of the children, use no standardized testing until the upper grades (if it’s a publicly funded charter school), base all learning on nature, the arts & sciences.
    I raised 2 children while attending public schools and my 3rd in a Waldorf based charter school with public edu (BA) & Waldorf trained & certified teachers (BA).
    I can tell you there is a huge difference in confidence, communication and persistence (to discover solutions), in compassion also. I volunteered in my children’s classes in public school as well as the Waldorf school and I absolutely loved the Waldorf experience with festivals, events, community building, the outcome for my son. I wish it had been available in our area, when I raised my older two.
    At least check it out before assuming that public school is the only option.

  16. Marilyn Lynds

    February 14, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Some kids will get by, some won’t. Then there are the kids, the quiet, neat, clean well behaved ones that will just squeaked by every year until they are 16, 17, 18 before anyone realizes that this child has a problem learning or learned how to fake it. Standardized tests, and I will include SATs and their ilk, are worse than useless. They do not even demonstrate which child has a talent for a subject and which needs help. I don’t want a standardized child.

  17. Donna Taylor

    February 15, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Everyone bashes our education system. The problem is, no one bothers to ask the teachers what childeren need in order to be successful earners. Too many decisions are made by politicians or administrators who eithe have never taught, or taught many years ago. My state spends days testing for the sole purpose of imposing a grade on the teacher to justify merit pay. I wold much rather spend this time teaching my children, not needlessly testing them. The classroom teacher has spent years in college learning the best ways to educate every child, and thousands of hour after college in inservice training. We are dedicated professionals who put our hearts into our profession.

  18. Robin Frisella

    February 16, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Thank you for this. As a teacher who gets pulled to proctor Kindergarten standardized testing, I see this twice a year. Parents, it’s up to you. We teachers are doing our best to ease our precious students through the required endless assessments. Please contact your representatives and tell them that this current, over-the-top testing climate is detrimental to children.

  19. Crystal Smith

    February 16, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    I am a “guest teacher” I have had to go into a classroom using common core where I have not had much time to study the teacher’s guide and have not taught that grade enough to be familiar with that method or lesson. I look like a fool. I have had a classroom where I know several different methods that they have used lately to teach say, subtraction, but I am not familiar with the one that they are using that day. And I do not have the teachers book anywhere, so I can quickly read and figure it out. The children supposedly have learned this method the day before and are given worksheets and manipulatives to work on it that day. But several are still not understanding it. I don not understand it myself and just have the other methods that I know. It seems to be a very nonsensical technique. Compared to the old “You have 37-18.” “You cannot take 8-7, so Mr. 7 goes to his neighbor and borrows 1 to put in front of himself, making him a 17. You take that neighbor’s 1 that was given and make him 1 less. Now we figure out what 17-8 is and then 2-1 is…” So on nonsensical technique day, I could not help them learn this nonsensical method. Now before these children have mastered one method, they will have to skip around and learn a new method. Or even worse, in my son’s district, we have it where one year they will have a lesson in one method and a lesson in another method, not be given a good chance to learn either and then go on to something else. But each year that they have in this curriculum, they go back, have a tiny review method “A’ and build on it and then method “B” and build on that. No wonder so many children are being diagnosed with ADD, the curriculum writers seem to have an attention span of a two year old. My poor son is in this curriculum and has to be pulled out for help. His “Resource Room.” teacher has confided that while this curriculum does of the good point of building on it year after year, how it skips around and does not let the child learn the section well enough is deeply flawed. How the first book in his grade is tough enough, but the second book they suddenly skip to being really tough for the kids and how she has to help even more kids with math at that point, and they decided to have a few kids just do work form earlier, trying to master earlier concepts. Now my child could figure out from the age of four, how many pieces of pizza each person could get, or how many donuts we each might be able to have. He isn’t stupid. Since I am a substitute, I don’t get the classes educating the full time teachers on how to teach these things. I have a college degree, I have subbed for 7 years. But things keep changing so much that teachers have to keep being reeducated. Even they are complaining that preschool children are being educated in what only 4 years ago was expected to be learned in kindergarten. I hear this as a peer, I would not be told this as a parent, necessarily. Parents’ if you are complaining how many half days or PPD days your child is getting off, it is to have meetings for these teachers to learn these things as well as time to do report cards, etc. When Smart Boards first came out, teachers had to go to another site during the school day or go to meetings after school to learn how to use them. Not all classes are taught at every college on every method that is out there to teach things, so teachers paying for further education so that they can renew licenses, don’t always get educated on every curriculum out there, and even common core has different curriculums.
    I have also had to proctor tests where they have used vocabulary that the average person in that grade does not know, and I feel mean that I cannot help them with this word and just have to do their best. I also had a lousy poem on a test where the children had to chose the answer that fit. The poem ended with “Get out of my way, I’m coming______” Now what instantly popped into my head was “to get you!” And I dislike horror movies and am not a mean person at all. The only way that this poem ending might not be rude is if you are in an emergency, It sounds like a poem the murderer would send (or phone in to) his victim in a movie like “Scream.” And why do we have rude children? Parents can contribute, but tests like this giving kids ideas that talking that way is OK don’t help.

  20. Gail

    February 16, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    What genius came up with the idea that a kindergardener should be tested in this manner? It’s ridiculous! You know who makes money on these tests? The companies that produced them and evaluate them. Look into it. That’s who is pushing for these tests. You simply cannot test a five year-old in this manner and get a valid result. They can’t sit still long enough and they will have too many problems manipulating the equipment – as the mother pointed out. The only way to test a child this age and get any kind of a valid result is to have them tested individually by a teacher, trained in how to test five year-olds, who asks each question orally to the child. Anything else is garbage.

    • hanna

      May 13, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      Yes it’s a tragic day in America when at least 2 Marxists design a shool curriculum. You can thank Bill Ayers and his dad and all the rest left wing liberals for todays common core.

  21. Deana

    February 16, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    When my advanced first-grader, whose fall term MAP score was as high as the baseline for second grade, was not able to go to the treasure chest after the winter term MAP test because her score had not increased as many points as it was supposed to, came home and cried at how humiliating it was, I about lost it. She looked up at me and said, “Mommy, why am I not getting enough smarter like the other kids are? What is wrong with me?”

    Seriously? What is wrong with HER? Nothing was wrong with HER. Her “lower than they wanted it to be” second term score in first grade was still one of the top 5 in the entire grade level, bit she could not go to the Treasure Chest for a prize.

    No, my daughter is just fine. Advanced even. She is smart. She may not ever be Einstein, but she will hold her own. So, no, nothing is wrong with her, but something is very wrong with our Education System in this country. Testing should not make students feel this way.

    I want to do something to help change and fix it, but don’t even know where to begin.

  22. MamaZ

    February 17, 2014 at 12:13 am

    I am SO BLESSED to be able to homeschool our 4 children!!!

  23. Mark

    February 17, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    All of you seem to mis-understand what this article is getting at… Common Core is as much of a Joke as No Child Left Behind, how can you honestly grade anyones success or failure based on a test that is in no-way accurate? Are two people Identical? Do the same two people learn the same way? Will you have the same results or better the following year from a completely seperate group of kids? I think the minute we allowed Business into our Education system we royally screwed up, Hell these are same morons that can’t even create anough private sector jobs to gain traction in our own economy, and they are monitored by the same Government that can’t get their heads out of there asses long enough to tell the difference in the color of their own shit. The other problem, is parenting, cold hard fact, many parents will not teach their child accountability, and some of you gripe about the school not teaching Critical Thinking, face it, if the school tried to make your child think, the parents are the first ones to complain, because little Johnny or Janey can’t do it… This testing is Bullshit for a 5 year old, much less a 6 or 7 year old to perform. How many of you readers at age 5 knew or understood what Divide meant? Let me answer for you, NONE of YOU… I see a good example of what is happening here, the lot of you should reread 1984, there are many similiarities. We are losing our education system, not because of lack of Quality Teachers, we’ve lost our Education System, because of Corporate and Government Intervention, Piss Poor Parenting, and Media that Celebrates Ignorance and Stupidity. You want your kids to compete on a world stage, then adopt techniques from Educational World Players… Get Business out of Education, they’ll fuck it up every time

  24. Terry Smith

    February 17, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    If every elected official was required to help administer all of the tests our children take, I think we would quickly find a better way. They could put up with the glitches, the endless hours of sitting still, and the children’s stress and confusion. they would realize that they had just wasted hours of a perfectly good day that could never be retrieved. Then they might realize that is exactly how teachers and students feel. I intend to invite mine.

  25. Charles Riner

    February 17, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    One thing that could be done immediately to improve education would be to remove ALL computers from the classroom. Then give the teachers plenty of chalk and/or dry erase markers, well-written textbooks, and leave them alone to teach!

  26. Kim Oxendine

    February 17, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    This picture looked like my son every night at the table except I was beside him crying too! They expect so much so early. He eventually adjusted but the school system expects out children to be little Einsteins and its not far for Teachers, students or parents!

  27. Angela

    February 17, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    I’m crying as I read this. I have a 5th grader and a kindergarten student and I can hear them both living out this situation. I do hate it so much.

  28. Andy

    February 18, 2014 at 12:40 am

    Homeschool your kids. It will solve all the problems you’ve mentioned above. Millions of American kids are homeschooled.

  29. meg

    February 18, 2014 at 2:14 am

    I am sorry this was your child’s experience. I dont believe this is what all Common Core institutions are doing…it is not what my kindergartner and 3rd grader have experienced in their CC education. Perhaps it is the implementation….this has NOT been our experience, even if it is popular to hate the entire institution.